The South by Southwest Interactive Festival is Around the Corner!


During the days and nights of March 7-11, hundreds of web professionals and hobbyists converge in Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. The festival includes panels, a trade show and evening parties. This will be my third year attending. It’s always a mix of fun, learning and inspiration.

Independents Day (a project I help organize) will be co-hosting three panels with Derek Powazek, John (Halcyon) Styn and Jeffrey Zeldman during the festival. ID has been quiet lately but interesting things are stirring and we should have some new things in the works later this year.

Why you need to be there

The South by Southwest Interactive Festival’s website lists several good tidbits regarding who should attend and why. Their list focuses on people who work in technology or Internet related careers; but the festival is also great for people with personal websites and labor of love web projects. People who attend the South by Southwest Interactive festival are passionate about the work they do professionally and personally on the Internet and the web. If you’re a freelancer, free agent or consultant, SXSW is presenting the second Freelancer Forum on Monday, March 10th, hosted by Pableaux Johnson.

The costs, getting there, etc.

If you think that this conference is too expensive to get to from Boston, think again! The entire conference, which includes a diverse collection of panels and parties, costs $250 for the entire four days plus hotel and airfare. I’ve been looking into airfares out of Boston, Providence and Manchester. It looks like Hotwire(.com) has the best deals. If you’re OK with not knowing what time you’re departing until after the ticket is purchased Hotwire is an excellent option. Last time I checked they had fares for $240 roundtrip from Boston to Austin. You can also save on hotel costs when you book through the festival. If you’re a bargain fare shopper and you don’t stay at The Ritz, you can probably keep the trip under $850. If your job involves technology, the web or Internet, your boss should absolutely pay for this trip! If you need ideas to help inspire them to make that decision, let me know. If you are a freelancer, free agent or consultant and you attend the festival, be sure to save all your receipts so you can write off the trip as a business expense at the end of the year.

See you there?

If you’ll be there or just thinking about it, let me know. It would be nice to see more people from New England there. Local Boston guy Ravi Jain is up for a SXSW award for his Three Abreast web sitcom!

Never been to Austin and/or SXSW?

Check out SXSW Blog, a community for South by Southwest Interactive participants. If you’ve never been to Austin before, visit Denise Czaja’s “Guide to Austin.”